A man from Fife who sent racist messages to a footballer online before being found to have images of child abuse on his phone has been jailed.
Kirk Thompson was sentenced to a year behind bars at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday by Sheriff Alastair Brown, who said the 22-year-old poses a risk of significant harm.
Thompson, of Ravenscraig in Kirkcaldy, was exposed on social media by DR Congo star Yannick Bolasie who shared a screenshot of the racial slur sent to him in a direct message in March last year.
The 32-year-old footballer, who was playing for Middlesbrough at the time, branded his abuser a “keyboard warrior” and a rat.
Sheriff Brown told Thompson that his actions were deliberate and contributed to what he described as a trend of abuse being sent online and a toxic environment.
He said: “The court is aware that those in any sort of prominent position in public regularly receive abusive texts and are denigrated online by those whose only qualification to do so is they are able to switch on a mobile phone.”
He said the words used seek to “diminish the individual”, and told him: “Courts will always take abuse of that sort very seriously.”
Thompson pleaded guilty to three charges: possession of indecent images of children, permitting to be taken or making indecent images of children, and sending a racist message.
During a police search of his phone last March, four indecent images and movies were discovered.
Two were rated category A, considered to be the most severe, and two were category B. One other image found with text added to it was reported as category C.
Sheriff Brown ruled the harm to be significant, despite the small number of images found in Thompson’s possession.
Thompson was sentenced to a 12-month prison term for the first two charges, and four months for sending the racist abuse.
The sentences will run concurrently.